Is Microsoft Blocking Google Search On New Lumia Phones?

microsoft-google-fight-featured According to a story appearing in The Verge yesterday, Microsoft is not allowing users to set Google as the default search engine for mobile web browsing on new Lumia 8.1 devices (630 and 930). As the article points out, the search button on the handset uses Bing and cannot be switched. I reached out to both Google and Microsoft yesterday and didn't receive a response from either. The Verge says that some of the European carriers were giving users the option to change the IE/browser search engine to Google. It's not entirely clear what the reality is. But if Microsoft is in fact not allowi [...]


Amazon Fire Phone: Bing For Search, Nokia For Maps

Amazon Maps logo The emerging consensus from the early "hands on" or "first look" reviews is that the Amazon Fire Phone has some novel and interesting features but that it doesn't measure up, overall, to the iPhone or "true Android" devices. I've argued that Amazon missed the boat with its high-end pricing. Interestingly, there has been almost no talk about search on the Fire. Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search and other Google apps are not present in the Amazon Store. Users can still get to Google services on a browser of course. But Amazon has erected barriers to using Google on its devices. Among them [...]


Microsoft Translation In Real-Time Over Skype

skype-translation-real-time Last night at the Re/Code Conference, Microsoft demoed real-time translation over Skype. Imagine talking to someone over a video call, they spoke a completely different language than you did, but the technology did real time translation as you spoke. Microsoft has a beta they demonstrated last night at the conference. Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype and Lync at Microsoft conducted the demo in front of the audience. The demo worked pretty well, although I do not speak German. The demo showed a "near real-time audio translation from English to German and vice versa, com [...]


Bing Launches On Firefox OS, Does It Matter?

Firefox OS phone Bing has launched an app for the Firefox Marketplace. As pointed out by The Next Web, Google doesn't yet have an official app there. Firefox OS is a mobile operating system "built entirely using open web standards" (HTML5). It's both an effort to reinvigorate the mobile web and keep Firefox from falling into total mobile irrelevance. The first Firefox OS phone is the Chinese-made ZTE Open. It's selling for between $70 and $99 (unlocked) on eBay. This low-end strategy could work well in developing countries and provide an even lower-cost alternative to Android devices in those markets. [...]


Bing Updates Its Android App With A New Look & Faster Performance

Bing Android App image May 2014 Bing has rolled out a new look and feel for its Android app, claiming the updates make it more streamlined and "optimized for performance." According to the announcement on Bing's search blog, the app is faster than its previous version, and now lets users track their Bing reward points natively within the app. Bing reminded users how the new in-app reward point tracking will help them monitor their progress toward helping their favorite school, "With last week's roll out of Bing for Schools, this is another great way to help your favorite school earn Surfaces." Here's an image Bing p [...]


Part Siri, Part Google Now: Microsoft Announces “Cortana” Virtual Assistant

cortana-600px Rumored for months, Microsoft has formally announced its answer to Apple's Siri and Google's Voice Search/Google Now: Cortana. Danny Sullivan is at the Microsoft Build Conference and live blogging it. Cortana appears to be sassy like Siri and can perform many of the functions that Google Now does (providing reminders and notifications regarding dates, meetings and so on). It appears to have numerous manual personalization capabilities as well. Cortana will also interact with and can launch apps on the device (like Siri or Google). Showing Cortana's smarts, there was apparently an examp [...]


New Video Shows Microsoft “Assistant” Cortana In Action

Cortana screen shot Microsoft will be introducing its Siri and Google Now/Voice competitor Cortana with Windows 8.1 in April. The new "intelligent assistant" will eventually be available cross-platform, although launching on Lumia Phones. The name Cortana comes from a character in the game Halo. It was originally thought that Cortana would look like her character in the game (see image right). However it now appears "she" won't have a face or a body. Cortana is intended to help users discover and search for information as well as providing Google Now like personalization and "predictive search" capabilities [...]


Bing Updates iPhone App With New Search Widget, Bookmarks Manager & Shake Feature

Bing Logo Within a week of releasing three new Windows phone apps, Bing announced a series of updates for its iPhone app, including a search widget to help with navigation, new image tiles, and a shake feature to see what stories are trending. According to the announcement, the new Bing iPhone app search widget has four buttons, allowing users to: return to the homepage, do a voice search, perform a text search, or view recent searches. Bing's iPhone app also now lets users do multiple searches, and manage recent searches from the "Recent" page: Swipe a tile off the screen if it's no longer r [...]


AdGooroo Adds Mobile Paid Search Spend Insights, Releases List Of Top Mobile Search Advertisers

adgooroo-logo Search marketing intelligence firm, AdGooroo announced it is the first to provide insights into search advertising spend on mobile devices. The new mobile search data is now included in the company's SEM Insights Tool, starting with data from the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Additional mobile insights now available include ad copy, impressions and clicks, click-through rates, costs-per-click at the campaign and keyword level. AdGooroo has also released a list of the top 20 advertisers in mobile search by impressions in January 2014. The list is based on impressions from the top 50,000 keywo [...]


Bing Adds Three New Apps For Windows Phones: Travel, Food & Drink and Health & Fitness

bing-2013-logo-featured Bing announced they have added three new Bing apps for the Windows Phone and refreshed several of their other apps. The new apps are Travel, Food & Drink and Health & Fitness. Bing Travel App The Bing Travel App helps you discover places to visit by providing destination guides, rich photos, expert reviews and more. You can pin your flights within the app, in order to track your flight status. You can search for hotels with sorting by price, class, proximity, or popularity and read reviews and book a room. You can view current weather conditions and currency conversion rates for your [...]


Bing Ads Expands Mobile Sitelinks Coverage In US, Will Roll Out To EU Markets

bing-ads-new-240px Bing Ads announced today that it will complete the roll out of sitelink extensions on mobile devices in the US in coming weeks. In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft's Eliot Li said they currently have enabled over 60 percent of the mobile traffic on the Yahoo Bing Network (YBN) to run sitelinks in the US. Sitelinks for Mobile will launch in several EU markets, including the UK, France, and Germany, says Li. Additionally, Li says Bing Ads has doubled the number of mobile clicks by growing its network over the past year.   [...]


Microsoft’s $15 Million Check-in: Will Redmond Buy Foursquare?

microsoft-foursquare-featured Microsoft has invested $15 million in Foursquare and said it will license the former's location data according to news released yesterday. Foursquare aspires to be "the location layer for the internet." With real-time feedback about local data accuracy, based on user movements and check-ins, Foursquare is becoming a stronger and stronger source of local information. However I wouldn't necessarily agree with the notion that Foursquare's data are the most accurate in the market. Google and Yelp may still have better data -- although I suspect Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley would dispute that. [...]


Bing Rewards Program Now Available On iOS & Android Devices

Bing Logo Bing Rewards is going mobile starting today. According to a post on the company's blog, the incentive program that lets users earn credits toward gift cards for brands like Amazon, Xbox and Dominos, is available on iOS and Android devices starting today, and will be "coming soon" to Windows Phone devices. Currently, iOS and Android users can earn Bing Rewards credits by performing searches on their phone. Bing claims it will be adding most all of the incentive program features to mobile devices during the next several months. To access the mobile Bing Rewards dashboard on an iOS or An [...]


Following Android Refresh, Bing Intros New iPad Experience

bing-ipad-featured Last week, Bing refreshed its Android app. Today, Bing announced an upgrade of its app for the iPad. The primary driver of the redesign was iOS 7 and the aesthetics of the new Bing app are intended to match the new Apple OS. One of the most promoted new features, as on the Android app, is the ability to save the Bing daily image as homescreen or lockscreen wallpaper on the device. (This was apparently an often-requested feature.) In addition bookmarks can be saved/synced via Skydrive so that they can be accessed on other devices. The new app also permits sharing of search results via Fac [...]


Bing Revamps Android App To Match iPhone Features

Bing logo Microsoft's Bing and Google are pursuing very similar strategies with their mobile apps. Google's search app for iOS is essentially a browser and gateway to other Google apps and services. The same is true for Bing on iOS and Android. Earlier this week Bing refreshed its Android app to make its UI and design consistent with other Bing properties. There are also some additional new features, though those aren't fully specified. Basically we can assume that the functionality recently added to the iPhone app has now been incorporated into Bing for Android. Among the new features, users can [...]


Bing Updates iPhone App With New Homepage Menu, Improved Sharing & More

bing-logo-2013-200px Bing rolled out an update to its iPhone app late Tuesday night that features a new homepage menu, additional sharing options and improved syncing across platforms. Bing 4.1 for iPhone features a new homepage menu that's accessible from the bottom of the app display. It offers quicker access to Bing Maps Bing Image Search Bing Trends -- featuring the top seven trending searches each day Bing Weather The updated app also includes new sharing options for Facebook and Twitter, and the ability to save images -- whether from Bing Image Search or the daily Bing homepage image -- to yo [...]


Bing Launches News, Sports, Weather & Finance Apps For Windows Phone 8

bing-mobile-featured After releasing a number of new updates for the Windows Phone 8 yesterday, Bing announced today it has launched News, Sports, Weather and Finance apps for the phone as well. Originally released for Windows 8 last October, the mobile versions offer a new collection of apps for Windows Phone 8 users. Bing News App Bing has partnered with a number of national, local and region news sources, including Associated Press, Reuters, Gizmodo and The Guardian, to deliver a customizable news app that lets users track specific story categories, topics or sources. Users can rearrange headline clusters t [...]


Bing Brings Faster Search Results, Infinite Image Scrolling, Snapshot & More To Windows Phone 8

bing-mobile-featured Bing announced a number of new upgrades today for the Windows Phone 8, including search feature design updates, infinite scrolling for images and videos, ten new "Instant Answers" topics, and a new mobile version of Bing's "Snapshot" feature that offers at-a-glance information. With the new updates, tapping the Search feature on a Windows Phone 8 now will display only three result categories: Web, Images and Videos. Microsoft said the Local, Media and Shopping categories have been removed because, "...many people just don't use them." The intention is to reduce confusion by streamlining vie [...]


Bing iPad App Gets An Upgrade

bing-search-ipad-app Bing has quietly released an update for the Bing iPad App, adding new features and making optimization improvements to the app. The app can be downloaded for free over here in the app store. The changes, as listed in version 1.3 include: Bookmark Web/Image/News Search Query Provide Daily Trending Images with density layout Enable Map Local Business Category Search Add Popular Now in search suggestion Performance Optimization in iPad1 Enable Related Search in detail web page Enable Browsing Page Close Button Dictionary, Mind Reader, Voice Search (CN mkt only) I've te [...]


Bing Updates Windows 8 Apps Enhancing News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps & Travel

Win8-live-tiles Microsoft announced they have made major updates to the Bing Apps for Windows 8 across most of their apps including News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps and Travel. The video below walks you through the changes, but here are some highlights of the core changes to each section. News: You can now customize the type of news you want to see by category. For example, if you like sports but not entertainment news, you can tell Bing, and the app will show you only sports related news items. In addition to that, Bing has added RSS feeds and offline reading. Maps: The maps feature has improved [...]


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